The Center for Robotics and Intelligent Machines (CRIM) serves the robotics and intelligent machines community through conducting fundamental and applied research in the field and through conducting an active program of technology transfer. The CRIM is active in conducting core research, non-core research, and technology transfer. A major CRIM initiative is to have the center outreach, and collaborate, with researchers in robotics and intelligent machines in the University of North Carolina (UNC) system of universities. That is, the CRIM will become a core facility for promoting robotics and intelligent machines research throughout the UNC system. Core research programs are developed jointly by the CRIM faculty/staff and the member companies. Core research programs focus on areas such as:
- Autonomous robot technology.
- Self-learning and adaptive robotic colonies using evolutionary computing.
- The design, fabrication, and control of microrobot swarms for maintenance and inspection.
- Medical robotic systems for occupational therapy rehabilitation.
- Design, fabrication and control of medical microrobotic systems.
- Basic studies that lead to a better understanding of technologies.
- Applied research directed at robot/human relationships.
- Mote-based wireless sensor network systems.
- Wearable computing and electronic textile systems.
- MEMS in high-speed textile formation.
- Instrumentation and test methods for robotic systems.
Core research programs are supported by funds from the Federal Research Agencies, and fees from contracted services and industrial member companies. The results of the research are proprietary to the CRIM, and as such to NC State, and to all affiliated members of the CRIM. This information is placed in the public domain, through presentations and publications, poster presentations, software, and patent disclosures, only after the approval of the Industry/University Advisory Board (CRIM-IUAB) of the CRIM. The policies governing the ownership of intellectual property are discussed under the policy section.
A non-core research program focuses on one or more of the above objectives but is carried out for an individual company. Single company sponsored programs can be proprietary and are made public only if the sponsoring company agrees. Non-core projects of special interest can also be developed for a group of CRIM member or affiliate companies. The results of such research are made public only if the sponsoring company, or companies, agree.
The CRIM carries out an active program of technology transfer supported by funds from the State of North Carolina and industrial members. This program seeks to disseminate technology developed by the CRIM along with existing knowledge of the management of materials and processes. Such programs are provided in the form of:
- Training and assistance in the implementation of CRIM developed technology.
- Courses taught at plant sites.
- Workshops at the CRIM.
- Industrial internships.
- Focused seminars, symposia, and conferences.
- One-on-one consulting.
To carry out its research mission, the CRIM seeks out talent at North Carolina State University, and throughout the UNC system. Other universities and research institutes that the CRIM has collaborations with includes, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Utah, San Diego State University, Loughborough University (Loughborough, U.K.), and the Italian Institute of Technology (Genoa, Italy). The faculty, staff, and students of these universities undertake cooperative research programs with the approval of the CRIM-CRIM-IUAB.